When a rampaging column of 200,000 army ants hauling prey encounters a gaping pothole, volunteers bridge it with their bodies so that comrades can walk over them at full speed until the day's work is done, according to a new study.
And if the road-repairing ants — which can vary in size by a factor of five — are too small or too big for the job, others will keeping plugging away until a perfect match between insect and hole is found.
The study offers "rare quantitative evidence that extreme specialization" among a sturdy few with a lot of backbone can improve the performance of a majority, conclude Scott Powell and Nigel Franks, biologists at the University of Bristol.
The researchers observed the species Eciton burchellii — better known as army ants — in Panama, and then created a series of artificial, hole-ridden highways to see how the insects would adapt.
They also measured gains in productivity, calculating that the self-sacrificing behavior of a few good ants "results in a clear net gain in daily prey intake for the colony."
If 7,500 worker ants in a typical "trail" — a foraging column which can be several meters wide — pitch in for hole-plugging duty, the foraging party can increase its daily intake of goodies by up to 26 percent, according the study, to be published in June in the British journal Animal Behavior.(AFP)
1. comrade n.
夥伴 (huo3 ban4) ，同志 (tong2 zhi4)
例: Comrades share the same aspirations.
2. factor n.
（數學）因數 (yin1 shu4)
例: You only have NT$10? You'll need to increase that by a factor of 10 if you want that umbrella.
3. quantitative adj.
數量的 (shu4 liang4 de5)
例: Taiwan exports computers to the US without quantitative limitations.
4. forage v.i. /v.t.
搜尋 (sou1 xun2)
例: Stray dogs often forage for food in the garbage.
The backbone is another name for the series of vertebrae that surround the spinal cord. It can also be used as a metaphore for the most important part of something: "Mark is the backbone of this company. If he leaves, we could go out of business."
If someone is brave, you can say he or she has a lot of backbone. If someone acts cowardly, then others may say they are spineless or have no backbone.
假如某人很勇敢，就是「has a lot of backbone」。假如有人行事怯懦，可以說那個人「spineless」或「have no backbone」。
Bobby: What's wrong with your arm? It looks terrible!
Alan: I was in the garden yesterday and got eaten up by fire ants.
Bobby: That must have hurt! Did you see a doctor or anything?
Alan: I don't think I'll need to. I'll be good as new in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
Bobby: That's good to hear.
in two shakes of a lamb's tail 馬上，立刻
In two shakes of a lamb's tail is another way to say a short amount of time. "I'm just going to the other room to grab my book. I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail."
「in two shakes of a lamb's tail」是指短期內。例如︰「我要到另一個房間拿我的書。馬上就回來」。
They may have had a reputation for trade, braids and fearsome raids, but the Vikings were far from a single group of flaxen-haired, sea-faring Scandinavians. A genetic study of Viking-age human remains has not only confirmed that Vikings from different parts of Scandinavia set sail for different parts of the world, but has revealed that dark hair was more common among Vikings than Danes today. What’s more, while some were born Vikings, others adopted the culture — or perhaps had it thrust upon them. “Vikings were not restricted to blond Scandinavians,” said Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the research from
Let’s dine out tonight (5/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（五） A: I can’t believe we ordered the hottest curry on the menu by mistake. I’m such a dunderhead: I should have checked with the waiter first. B: Never mind, the mango lassi the waiter gave us on the house really did the trick: my mouth has cooled down now. A: Why don’t you finish off the remainder of the lamb rogan josh — it’s the mildest of all the curries we ordered. I’ll polish off the beef vindaloo. Waste not, want not. B: Are you sure that’s wise? I might have to take you home in an ambulance. A: 真不敢相信我們竟然不小心點到菜單上最辣的一道咖哩。我真是個笨蛋：我應該先跟服務生確認的。 B: 沒關係，服務生送我們餐廳招待的芒果優格真的發揮魔力了：我的嘴巴現在冷卻下來囉。 A: 你要不要把剩下的喀什米爾羊肉咖哩吃完──這道是我們點的咖哩菜肴裡最溫和的。我會快速掃完辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。不浪費才能不虞匱乏。 B: 你確定這樣是明智之舉嗎？我搞不好要叫救護車載你回家哦。 （Edward
A: Here’s the meat section. How about some ribeye steak? B: Is ribeye your favorite cut? A: Yep. It has the perfect ratio of marbled fat to lean meat and a delicious flavor. B: You’re such a foodie! Australian or American? A: Australian: their cows are grass-fed, instead of grain-fed, which gives the meat a nicer flavor. B: OK, I’m sold. Let’s also go local with some wild boar sausages and pig’s blood cake. A: 這裡是肉品區，要不要買一些肋眼牛排？ B: 肋眼是你最喜歡的部位嗎？ A: 沒錯，肋眼大理石般的油花跟瘦肉比例完美，還有可口的風味。 B: 你真是個吃貨！要選澳洲牛還是美國牛？ A: 澳洲牛︰因為澳洲主要是草飼牛，而不是穀飼的，這讓肉的風味更好。 B: 好哦，我被你說服了。我們也買點本地產品吧，像是山豬肉香腸跟豬血糕。 (Edward Jones, Taipei Times / 台北時報章厚明譯) English 英文: Chinese 中文:
US Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg (also known as RBG), 87, died on September 18, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign. Ginsburg became only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, when she was appointed to the court in 1993 by president Bill Clinton. She anchored its liberal faction, whittled to four by two appointments since 2017 from US President Donald Trump. The number of justices of the Supreme Court of the Unites States is nine; each